Two women happily stand outside during a sunny day on green grass while holding a new, small, white lab puppy.

What to Expect During Life with a New Puppy

There is nothing like the excitement of getting a new puppy. However, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. Some people don’t necessarily realize how much work can go into life with a new puppy. After all, it’s pretty easy to be loveblind with a cute puppy! 

Puppies can be full of energy and learning the world around them. In fact, each month can bring new things that you never expected. So, here’s what to expect during life with a new puppy. 

Facts About Puppies: Stages of Growth

Firstly, let’s take a look at some behavioral facts about puppies during their stages of growth. 

1 to 3 Months

The first 1-3 months is when most people will likely bring their puppies home since 8 weeks is the standard to start homing them. This is when a puppy has generally weaned off their mother and is ready to be transitioned to a solid food diet. 

Typically, this is the age you’ll see stereotypical puppy behavior. They are mischievous, curious, and want to interact with everything. It’s also the socialization period, during which they should be exposed to various positive experiences and things, such as noises, people, animals, and more. 

If you want them to get this experience formally, try taking them to puppy socialization classes where they can interact with other dogs and owners. You can also begin obedience training at 1-3 months. This includes potty training and basic commands like sit, stay, and using a leash. 

3 to 8 Months

When your puppy is 3-8 months old, their adult teeth will start to come in. So, don’t be surprised if you start finding puppy teeth on the ground! However, this is also when they really want to start gnawing and chewing on everything, so keep plenty of chew toys around!

During this period, your dog will undergo major growth. This can lead to some goofiness and clumsiness as they adjust, but it can also make them more prone to injury. Enjoy their goofiness, but make sure to supervise and keep them safe. 

Moreover, this is the time when their particular personality really begins to shine, and they are learning to make independent decisions. There may be some hesitation or difficulty following commands sometimes, but keep up with training!

Toward the 6-8 month mark is the time to start considering spaying or neutering your pup. However, the appropriate time can depend on the size and breed of the dog. 

8 Months to 1 Year

8 to 12 months is considered the tail-end of puppyhood, depending on the dog. Smaller dogs have finished developing at around 1 year old, whereas other larger breeds may take 18 months. Your dog will still be incredibly playful and full of energy, and this is the time to keep on their training. 

Additionally, they may continue to test boundaries with you, but keeping firm on training will help to solidify these boundaries. 

Start Puppy Training Almost Immediately

Truthfully, puppy training can be started very early. When you bring them home, it’s best to jump right into teaching them how to go potty and the basic commands. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to train them and get the behavior to stick.

Maintain Your Puppy’s Health with Get Joy

One of the most vital parts of owning a dog is ensuring it receives proper nutrition. Many kibbles and foods on the market are packed with fillers with no nutritional value for your pup, but we are here to help. 

Luckily, Get Joy meals for dogs use fresh ingredients that provide your dog with all of the nutrients they need to thrive. We all want our canine family members to live a long and healthy life, and proper food is the perfect start. Even if your dog isn’t a puppy anymore, there is never a bad time to switch to better feeding options. 

Don’t settle for anything less than nutritious food for your dog. Start shopping today!